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Police release 21 bodies of 50 killed in New Zealand mosque attacks

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that releasing the bodies was a priority for family reasons, compassionate reasons and cultural reasons. | AP Photo

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says police have now formally identified and released the bodies of 21 people out of the 50 who were killed in last week’s mosque attacks.

Bush said that releasing the bodies was a priority for family reasons, compassionate reasons and cultural reasons.

Islamic law says that people should be buried as soon as possible after death, preferably within 24 hours.

Bush’s comments came after it was announced that the first two burials of the victims are scheduled to take place Wednesday morning.

He says they hope to finish formally identifying most victims by the end of the day although some will take longer.